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Dreaded shutdown day has come

"There was a bit of a mad scramble Wednesday to assure that onsale liquor licenses will be updated and legal after July 1," read a front-page Worthington Daily Globe story Thursday about potential impacts of a state government shutdown in Worthington.

Heaven forbid the lack of a budget agreement affect our ability to buy booze!

While that issue was solved later in the day thanks to the issuance of temporary certificates, many additional -- and much more significant -- problems remain in the event of what loomed Thursday afternoon. In another front-page story Thursday about the shutdown -- this one pertaining to ongoing negotiations -- it was reported that more than 20,000 workers would be laid off today should no deal be reached. Already Wednesday, contractors around the state were preparing to stop road construction work. State parks were slated to close at 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Most state child-care programs were poised to close.

Should a shutdown be prolonged, the impacts would no doubt continue to multiply. But here's our main point: We should in no way be in the position we are.

It's easy to play party politics like those in St. Paul are doing, but one can't blame just Republican lawmakers or Gov. Mark Dayton for this gridlock. Republicans, for instance, are united against a planned tax increase on the state's highest earners; Dayton, for his part, for too long seemed more worried about planning for a shutdown than calling legislators together in an attempt to avoid one.

At least we'll all be able to go buy a much-needed drink.

-- Worthington Daily Globe